- We tried five popular brands of microwave popcorn to see which one tastes best.
- The brands we sampled were Orville Redenbacher's, Act II, Pop Secret, Jolly Time, and Newman's Own.
- We liked Orville Redenbacher's the best because of its smooth butter flavor, which was evenly distributed over the popcorn.
- Jolly Time tasted most closely like movie theater popcorn and came in second place.
- Act II came in third, Newman's Own came in fourth, and Pop Secret came in last.
There's nothing better than curling up on the couch with a bowl of buttery popcorn.
But before you can do that, you have to choose from the numerous brands sold at most grocery stores.
Fortunately, four of my co-workers and I did the research for you. As part of an ongoing INSIDER taste test series, we put five popular brands of microwave popcorn to the test to see which one will satisfy your snack cravings the most. In the past, we've sampled everything from pie crust to vanilla ice cream to cheap beer.
The brands we tried were:
- Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter
- Newman's Own Butter
- Act II Butter Lovers
- Jolly Time Blast O Butter
- Pop Secret Butter
We bought all five boxes of popcorn at grocery stores in New York City. For consistency's sake, we sampled each brand's butter flavor, and judged it based on two main criteria: taste and texture.
Keep scrolling to read our thoughts.
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Although the microwave times differed depending on the brand, all five popcorns had the same basic instructions: place bag in microwave and heat until the popping slows.
We started with Newman's Own, a brand that's known for its "all natural ingredients."
We weren't surprised to see that this popcorn came out looking a lot less artificially yellow than some of the other brands.
It was immediately clear to us that this popcorn needed some added seasoning or spice. It was bland and dry, and we couldn't taste much butter or salt at all.
Although Newman's popcorn had a solid crunch to it in terms of texture, it was lacking in flavor. One of my co-workers made the point that this snack was salvageable, though. As long as you have something in your kitchen to spice it up — Sirracha, salt, everything bagel seasoning — it could still be tasty.
Taste rating: 3/10
Texture rating: 9/10
Overall rating: 6/10
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